Rep. Farenthold Says Contempt Bill Aimed at Restoring Power to Congress

Image: Rep. Farenthold Says Contempt Bill Aimed at Restoring Power to Congress

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:29 AM

By Cathy Burke

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Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold said Thursday a bill he's introduced to withhold Attorney General Eric Holder's paycheck as long as he's in contempt of Congress is aimed at "pulling some power back to Congress that's been eroded" over the years.

In an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News' "On the Record," Farenthold said the bill he introduced Wednesday could help hold people such as Holder to account.

“If you’re in contempt of Congress, we don’t pay you,” he said in the interview, which is on the Mediaite website. "We've got the power of the purse in the Congress."

"Here is another possible way to get Eric Holder to come forward with Fast and Furious documents we've been asking for for years," he added, referring to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation that allowed weapons from the United States to pass into the hands of gun smugglers so they could be traced to Mexican drug cartels.

"The idea is you've got to be in contempt of Congress," he said, adding that action is not something lawmakers "take lightly."

He also said House Speaker John Boehner "has said with respect to [retired IRS official] Lois Lerner she needs to be held responsible" for the scandal that targeted tea party and conservative groups.

"And I think he feels the same way about Eric Holder," he said. "We've got to come up with some enforcement mechanism and this is what I think we have the constitutional authority to do. ... [the bill] is aimed at pulling some power back to Congress that's been eroded into the executive branch over the years."

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